At first sight, David Barton Gym might appear to be an art gallery or swank pad complete with pounded steel plating, leather-wrapped door handles, and weekly DJ sets, but a second glance reveals a 30,000-square-foot fitness haven overlooking the Chicago River. The designer gym is loaded with free weights, cardio machines, a group cycling studio, steam rooms, a Russian bath, and a studio for yoga class. Meet up with an experienced hardbody personal trainer and melt fat like a George Foreman grill with a barrage of pushups, sit-ups, or 20 minutes on the TV-topped elliptical machine. Renew your will from the on-site therapist from Delos Wellness and let them unkink the knots that prevent you from having the strength needed to throw a dictionary through a thicker dictionary.
E! News anchor and Fashion Police host Giuliana Rancic was born in Italy but she has strong ties to Chicago—namely, her husband Bill, the Trump-approved entrepreneur and restaurateur behind RPM Italian. In the My Chicago by Giuliana Rancic collection, the star of Giuliana & Bill gives the scoop on her favorite local spots to get glammed up, be entertained in style, and even shop for Bill.
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Fitness industry veteran Dulcinea Lee Hellings's goal is to bring a high-quality, effective exercise regimen to people who don't love big gyms or can't afford personal trainers. In 2004, she realized that mornings could be used for more than hitting the snooze button over and over for two hours, and founded Boot Camp "Morning Crunch!" to help fledgling exercisers whip into shape.
She designs her all-levels programs to be scream-free morning motivators⎯the first stop in her patrons' journey of daily accomplishments. The fast-paced, ever-changing circuit of strength and cardio exercises keeps bodies guessing and minds from becoming bored. Each of the boot camp's 12 outdoor locations has a different dedicated trainer who gets to know each student personally, remembering their names and memorizing any interesting freckle patterns. They complement their morning routines with a smattering of evening options for those who prefer to work out after the day's activities.
Synergy Yoga holds small gatherings of passionate yogis as they stretch and build muscles in 1 of the 50 classes offered each week. Various styles of yoga, including traditional Hatha flow, focus on deep breathing, and more rigorous classes, such as hot core Vinyasa or hot power yoga, combine the sweat-inducing powers of a heated studio with moves that can makes tummies tighter than an elf's shoes on a pro basketball player.
Focused on supporting the community, Synergy Yoga aims to include all walks of life. Kids' yoga invites youngsters to develop their flexibility, and very advanced yogis can turn their passion into a living with teacher training. Healing arts such as Chakra reading, meditation, or massage soothe guests in need of some extra care.
The Sylvester family had bartending in its blood. Whether it was Uncle Mickey holding court with 40 years' worth of regulars or Tony Sr. mixing one of his signature Skip and Go Nakeds, they exemplified the easy grace and no-nonsense craftsmanship found in a true barman's barman. That dedication to well-poured drinks carried over to Tony Jr., who has spent the last 35 years training mixologists nationwide through the curriculum of his ABC Bartending Schools. Taught behind fully functional bars, his courses educate students in topics ranging from drink recipes and equipment setup to flair moves and alcohol awareness. His schools also emphasize employment; after graduation, students can take advantage of a nationwide job placement service to land gigs in Miami nightclubs, Las Vegas casinos, or the bar cars of Chicago's El trains.
At Sobekick, a boutique boxing studio, wrapped-knuckle students wallop a partner’s punch pads, pummel punching bags, or high-kick invisible targets. Despite all of the aggression in the air, the atmosphere remains friendly as professional fighters and certified trainers help exercisers of all skill levels achieve their fitness goals. To do this, they use personal-training sessions, kickboxing routines, and "wildcard" workouts that could consist of hardcore cardio drills or sincere apologies to bruised punching bags. Sobekick slows things down with yoga classes and tones bodies with specialized classes designed to tighten abs and derrieres.
Green Monkey thrives as a yoga community. Across its three locations, instructors lead a variety of classes. Power yoga classes lead guests through dynamic poses, while meditation classes rely on breathing techniques and silent affirmations to quiet the mind. Instructors also hold frequent workshops, many of which teach specific skills such as handstands and inverted backbends.